Stairs That Store Potential Energy To Make Climbing Them Easier

July 18, 2017

This is a video demonstration of the "energy-recycling" stairs developed by engineers from Georgia Tech and Emory University. When descended, the stairs compress and store potential energy to make climbing them later easier. But what if nobody came down them before I need to go up? Do they require twice as much energy to climb then? Whatever. *presses elevator call button*

As the stairs compress on your descent, the engineers have calculated they save around 26 percent of the energy you normally use to brace yourself as each foot makes contact. And on the way back up, the energy-recycling stairs make it around 37 percent easier on the knee, making these stairs ideal for people who are pregnant, dealing with mobility issues, or are just simply out of shape.

I used to live on the fourth floor of a building that didn't have an elevator so I had no choice but to take the stairs every day and I hated it. Carrying groceries, moving new furniture, disposing of bodies -- it was all such a hassle. "Wait, what?" Nothing. Plus if taking the stairs is so healthy for you, then why didn't I lose any weight? "Maybe because half the groceries you were carrying up those stairs was ice cream?" Oh I'm sorry, I thought this was supposed to be a judgement-free zone.

Keep going for the whole video. Also, I like that guy's outfit. "It's a motion-capture suit." Whatever, I'm into it.

Thanks to RK, who agrees the best stairs are escalators or those ones with the little bucket seat they sell to old people during the commercials between game shows.

  • adsffda

    i think yes, they would sink as you go up if nobody had previously gone down them, making you step twice as high to climb

    i'm more worried about how it tips you over as you go down if nobody had previously gone up though

  • Chris Robert Andersen

    I would like to see him walk upwards first.

  • Xockszky

    I wouldn't expect that to happen, then I'd fall down the stairs.

  • Frédéric Purenne

    How does that work if two people walks in the same direction? Get catapulted when trying to reach the next step down or have to hop another level if going up?

  • Marylligon



  • Titty McNipplefondler

    Show us dem jugs to prove your not a bot.

  • TheQiwiMan

    I love any new inventions that allow me to be even more physically lazy.

  • Dao

    I feel like walking down those stairs would be quite disconcerting.

  • GeneralDisorder

    I feel like the stairs are stupidly useless unless there's exactly one person using them ever.

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